A new study from Gallup found that 51% of American workers are “not engaged” in their jobs. 17% were “actively disengaged.” Such employees hurt their company’s morale, productivity, retention, and bottom line. Luckily, there a number of ways to engage employees and turn these negatives into positives. Here’s an overview.
Intranets used to be boring, static platforms where employees would occasionally visit to read about their benefits and find departmental phone numbers. Now, savvy organizations use intranets to connect with employees every day. They also allow workers to talk back to the company, in the form of surveys and polls. And intranets are now much more than text. They can include video of the CEO’s speeches and photos of company events. Some even allow employees to post their own photos and other content. IBM’s robust intranet mimics some of Facebook’s functions, letting employees reward each other and even mentor each other. A social, multimedia intranet helps employees feel more connected to their colleagues, to offices in other cities, and to the larger company mission.
An ERP is a great way to engage employees. Asking them to help find the next generation of workers is very empowering. The materials you provide them with — from calling cards to YouTube links — reinforce the company brand and culture not just with job-seekers but with current employees, too. An employee referral program is easy to gamify (see below), which adds an element of fun while increasing urgency. By offering varied and thoughtful rewards, you can make every employee feel valued and special. Referrals have a higher retention rate than other hires (46% to 33% after one year) and are generally higher-quality hires. Another benefit: If the program goes well, employees end up working alongside their friends, which increases camaraderie and retention.
One of the latest tools in employee engagement is gamification, adding game mechanics to a non-game activity, like a sales contest. Savvy organizations are using gamification in numerous HR tasks. For example, Cricket Wireless gamified its training program, giving employees points and virtual badges as they passed training tasks. A leaderboard showed not just individual scores but also store-to-store rankings, giving employees a chance to team up and not just compete against each other. . St. Lawrence College used gamification to improve employee wellness, awarding points when workers competed in fitness challenges, took health quizzes, or met their goals. The result went far beyond wellness: 88% of SLC workers said the program improved their sense of teamwork and collaboration.
Intranets are just one way to engage employees through internal communications. Many companies have found success with full internal social networks like Yammer, Chatter, or MangoApps. They let employees collaborate in a social setting that takes the place of emails and meetings, which often slow productivity. You can also take your internal communications mobile, sending text messages to employees. There’s nothing to design, and open rates are often better than email because the message because comes to employees’ personal device. You can innovate in other ways, too — who says an employee newsletter has to be a piece of paper distributed once a month? What if it was a video? Or a Pinterest board curated by a different employee each week? Any new idea that supports employee endeavors, recognizes their achievements, and increases collaboration will keep workers engaged. They’ll know you value their work and their time.
These four tactics can help your organization reinforce your company culture and employer brand every day. They reach employees in innovative ways and reward them for their efforts. They create a dialogue so that workers feel valued and heard.
Brandemix is an expert at internal communications, employee referral programs, intranets, and gamification. If you’d like to implement any of these into your employee engagement strategy, give us a call.
Jody Ordioni is President of Brandemix.
Director of Interactive Branding Jason Ginsburg explains what gamification is and how HR professionals can use it for recruiting, onboarding, training, and employee referral programs.
Register for Jason’s FREE webinar, Socialize Your Talent Strategy, presented Monday, April 29, at HR.com.
|Facebook ad that Brandemix created for Kaplan’s ERP|
Don’t help employees.
It’s not enough to just tell your workers, “Go talk to your friends!” You have to give them support. Create badges they can post on their Facebook pages, provide short links to use on Twitter, and give them YouTube videos they can send in an email. You can even give them actual cards or certificates to hand out; they’ll feel like Santa Claus. Guarantee interviews for all referrals, so employees know their friends will make the first cut. And if your careers site is boring or complicated, create a microsite just for the program
So you’re not Apple, Amazon, Deloitte, or Disney. Don’t despair. That doesn’t mean you can’t have an employer brand or employer value proposition of your own.
It saves the company money.
Good employer branding connects employees with cultures, reducing the chance of a hiring misfire. There is transparency in the employer-employee contract and everyone knows the deal going in. Both turnover rates and recruiting costs go down.
It doesn’t cost a lot of money.
You will have more fun at work.
Yes, it’s true. Once you have gone through your branding exercise and embedded the essence of your competitive differentiation into your careers website, videos, recruitment and social media marketing, and internal communications, you’re all set to reap the rewards. Happy hiring managers, increased employee referrals, more unsolicited resumés coming in from top talent, lower turnover, and greater retention. You’ll have more time to work on other critical initiatives like workforce planning, talent management, or diversity and inclusion. Or maybe just steal a few extra minutes to read a blog or two.